Wallawalla Indians

Wallawalla Indians. Meaning “little river”; called Walula by Spier (1936).

Wallawalla Connections. The Wallawalla language belongs to the Shahaptian division of the Shapwailutan linguistic stock and is very closely related to the Nez Percé.

Wallawalla Location. On the lower Wallawalla River, except perhaps for an area around Whitman occupied by Cayuse, and a short span along the Columbia and Snake Rivers near their junction, in Washington and Oregon. They are now on Umatilla Reservation, Oregon.

Wallawalla Population. Mooney (1928) gives 1,500 for the Wallawalla and the Umatilla together in 1780. In 1805 Lewis and Clark estimated 1,600 but they included other bands now known to be independent. The census of 1910 gave 397, the Report of the United States Office of Indian Affairs for 1923, 628, and that for 1937, 631, the two last evidently including some other peoples.

Connections in which the Wallawalla  Indians have become noted. The name Wallawalla is perpetuated in that of the city of Walla Walla, Washington; Walla Walla County; Walla Walla River, which flows through Oregon and Washington; and appears in the name of a small place in Illinois.


Swanton, John R. The Indian Tribes of North America. Bureau of American Ethnology, Bulletin 145. Washington DC: US Government Printing Office. 1953.

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